Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AT&T Has More iPhone Activations Than Verizon

Last week, AT&T and Verizon both posted their quarterly results as well as the number of iPhones that they have activated on each of their networks. Surprisingly, the mobile phone carrier with the most iPhone activations is AT&T.

AT&T reported that it has activated 3.6 million iPhones on its network this quarter, while Verizon has only activated 2.3 million. All in all, that adds up to 5.9 million new iPhones, which constitutes about 30 percent of the 20.3 million iPhones that Apple reported that it has sold during this past quarter.

So, are you surprised that AT&T has activated more iPhones than Verizon? I definitely was! So, how have they done it? Well, the advantage that AT&T has over Verizon is that it offers its customers both the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4. Verizon is only offering its customers the iPhone 4. AT&T is also offering the iPhone 3GS at a discounted price. Customers can get a new iPhone 3GS for $49.99 or pick up a refurbished device for $9 with a two year contract. That is one heck of a deal! Unfortunately, AT&T did not break down its quarterly numbers to show how many of each version has been activated. They just lumped the numbers all together.

Although Verizon does not have the most iPhone activations, the company did add more subscribers than its rival, AT&T. According to the company, they added more than 2.2 million people to their carrier, clearly beating AT&T who only added 1.1 million new users. Verizon now can boast 106.3 million subscribers, while AT&T sits behind them with 98.6 million users.

Breaking down the numbers even further, only 36 percent of Verizon’s subscriber base is made up of smartphone users. Although this is up from 32 percent last quarter, AT&T is way ahead. Almost 50 percent of the AT&T client base is made up of smartphone subscribers. So why does all of this matter? Well, smartphone subscribers tend to lead to more revenue for the company, due to data plans that users must take out when they choose a smartphone. So, although Verizon had more customers than AT&T, AT&T made $31.5 billion in total revenues, while Verizon came in at $27.5 billion.

Reports have said that when the next generation iPhone is made available, it will be offered by both mobile carriers. They have also reported that it will be a world phone, complete with the capability to run on GSM or CDMA networks. So, once the “iPhone 5” is released, the iPhone 4 will most likely be offered by both carriers at a discounted price. This could help to even the activation numbers, but who knows? Apple could decide to switch things up and offer the newest version of the iPhone through another phone carrier such as Sprint. That could really skew the numbers for both AT&T and Verizon. For now, we will just have to sit back and wait for Apple to release the new and improved iPhone. Hopefully, the wait will not be much longer.

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